“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing we´ll ever do.” I still believe in this quote from two of my previous books-maybe now more than ever. But I know that it takes more than courage to own your story. We own our stories so we don´t spend our lives being defined by them or denying them. And while the journey is long and difficult at times, it is the path to living a more wholehearted life.
Just because someone isn´t willing or able to love us, it doesn´t mean that we are unlovable.
Setting boundaries means getting clear on what behaviors are okay and what´s not okay. Integrity is key to this commitment because it´s how we set thouse boundaries and ultimately hold ourselves and others accountable for respecting them. I tried to find an existing definition of integrity that reflected what I saw in the data, but I couldn´t. So here´s my definition:
Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.
Longing is not conscious wanting; it´s an involuntary yearning for wholeness, for understanding, for meaning, for the opportunity to regain or even simply touch what we´ve lost. Longing is a vital and important part of grief, yet many of us feel we need to keep our longings to ourselves for fear we will be misunderstood, perceived as engaging in magical or unrealistic thinking, or lacking in fortitude and resilience.
Regret is what taught me that living outside of my values is not tenable for me. Regrets about not taking chances have made me braver. Regrets about shaming or blaming people I care about have made me more thoughtful. Sometimes the most uncomfortable learning is the most powerful.
Revolution might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing authenticity and worthiness is an absolute act of resistance. Choosing to live and love with our whole hearts is an act of defiance. You´re going to confuse, piss off, and terrify lots of people -including yourself. One minute you´ll pray that the transformation stops, and the next minute you´ll pray that it never ends. You´ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time. At least that´s how I feel most of the time… brave, afraid, and very, very alive.